Anarchists have spray-painted slogans on the walls of the Byzantine-era Church of Prophet Elias in the area of Ano Poli (Upper Town), Thessaloniki.
The medieval church was built in the 1300’s and became listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical value and beauty.
Despite the historical and aesthetic marvel of the church, anarchists in Thessaloniki have decided to deface the UNESCO-listed monument.
“Kiss the priest’s hand and taste death afterwards,” the vandals wrote on the church located on Olympiados Street.
Even if one is not religious or Christian, it would be expected that at the very minimum one would respect history and beauty.
Rather, the behaviour of the anarchists defacing the church resembles the actions of ISIS who destroyed many historical monuments in Syria and Iraq as it opposed their puritanical interpretation of Islam.
Graffiti on the church is not a brave victory for the anarchist cause, but is an attack on the world’s historical achievements and legacy – thus why it was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
It appears that the slogan written is in reference to the coronavirus pandemic and how the infection can be transmitted via human touch.
Just some days ago, a video and photographs published shows the vandalism of the St. Basil Church on Metsovo Street close to the centre of Exarcheia in Athens, as reported by Greek City Times.
In this attack by anarchists in Athens, among some of the graffiti were the slogans “Santa Claus I want to penetrate (copulate) you but the State does not let me” and their hope that not only Easter will be cancelled because of coronavirus, but also Christmas.
To date, there are 2081 coronavirus infections in Greece, 93 deaths, 273 recoveries and 37,344 tests conducted. Although the infection rate is extremely low in Greece, the government has enforced strict lockdown laws, giving opportunity to anarchists to take advantage of the quiet streets to vandalise churches.